Prints and Photographs Department
Edgar Degas's print for Germinal of Émile Zola.
Each year, the Department of Prints and Photographs collects around 25,000 pieces of the following:
Documents about the following topics are also available:
Red Fuji in a bright interval. Gaifû kaisei (Thirty six views of the Mount Fuji, 2). Wood engraving of Hokusai
BnF’s collections of prints, built up from the 17th century, bring together works by ancient and contemporary French and foreign engravers: Dürer, Callot, Rembrandt, Goya, Hokusaï, Picasso, Jim Dine, etc.
The Department of Prints and Photographs houses all works achieved by the most famous European engravers. It also holds outstanding prints of engraved masterpieces and very numerous drawings, whether preparatory works or illustrations of an engraver's activity.
The collections of French engravings continue to grow with the addition of works by contemporary artists and items produced by printing shops (URDLA, Arte-Maeght, Linard, etc.).
Park of Saint-Cloud, 1909-1911. Eugène Atget
In the XIXth century, the collections were expanded via the addition of work by photographers from studio collections and press agencies, testifying of the history of photography and photographic practices: they include work by Nadar, Le Gray, Disdéri, Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, Diane Arbus, Mario Giacomelli, Manuel Alvarez-Bravo, etc.
The collections also cover all types of media used in the distribution of artistic and documentary photography: illustrated books, postcards, etc.
Vin Mariani. Jules Chéret’s poster. 1894
The Posters, most of which have been added to the Prints and Photographs department under the legal deposit scheme, may be either anonymous or created by renowned artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, or Cassandre.
The department also offers an extensive library collection on techniques and the historical and artistic development of prints, photography, posters and images.
Self-portrait with Saskia. Rembrandt. 1636
The most precious pieces of the collections are housed in the Reserve:
To be noted
Since 1994, the department has housed the Société française de Photographie.
le règlement du prix Lacourière 2014 [fichier .pdf – 65 Ko – 05/12/11 – 1 p.]
History of the department
L'aveugle et son chien. Jacques Callot. 1622-1623
The Cabinet des Estampes was formed in 1667 when the King’s Library acquired 120,000 prints brought together by Michel de Marolles. From 1648 onwards, Jacques Dupuy, guardian of the Royal Library, extended the compulsory deposit scheme, introduced for books in 1537, to prints. However, under Colbert, only a few hundred units were collected under this legal arrangement.
“Estampes de privilège” were deposited from 1672 onwards (these were authoritative deeds granting permission to print and protecting copyright).
In 1720, the Cabinet became a department of the King’s Library. Its collections grew rapidly, absorbing the considerable portrait collection of Nicolas Clément, a guardian of the Cabinet (1712), followed by that of Roger de Gaignières (1716), the Marquis of Béringhen’s collection of prints by masters (1731), the topographical and portrait collection of the farmer-general, Lallemant de Betz (1753), and the history collection of Pierre Fevret de Fontette (1773). Revolutionary confiscations added the Minister Bertin’s Chinese collections and collections from various congregations, including in particular that of the Abbey of Saint-Victor, prints brought together by the Jesuits of Cologne, and the personal collections of the King, the Queen, Monsieur and Madame Victoire, and numerous émigrés.
The library continued to grow at a sustained pace in the 19th century, through both the legal deposit scheme and the addition of a large number of private collections (e.g. the historical collections of Hennin and the Baron de Vinck and the artistic collections of Moreau-Nélaton and Atherton Curtis), and in the 20th century via the addition of contemporary works (by Duchamp, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Matisse, Hélion, Baselitz, Sam Francis, Barry Flanagan, Antoni Tàpies, etc.).
From 1851 onwards, photographers began to voluntarily deposit their output (the legal deposit scheme for photographs was not introduced until 1925).
The department has been based in the hôtel Tubeuf at the Richelieu Library (Site Richelieu) since 1946.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015